The effect of gender and gender pairing on bargaining: Evidence from an artefactual field experiment

Ben D'Exelle, Christine Gutekunst, Arno Riedl

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Men and women negotiate differently, which might create gender inequality in earnings from bargaining. We study the role of gender and gender pairing in bilateral bargaining, using an artefactual field experiment in rural Uganda, in which pairs of participants bargain over the division of a fixed amount of resources. We vary the gender composition of the bargaining pairs as well as the disclosure of the participants’ identities. We find gender differences in earnings and agreements, but only when identities and, thus, genders are disclosed. Women in same-gender pairs obtain higher final earnings than men and women in mixed-gender pairs, which is due to the lower likelihood of disagreement among women-only pairs. We identify gender differences in demands and demand inconsistency--the money left on the table once demands are corrected for beliefs about the counterpart’s demand--as mechanisms behind the observed gender differences in bargaining outcomes. In addition, we find that gender differences in demand inconsistency are related to gender differences in education and a measure of expected generosity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-269
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior & Organization
Early online date24 Nov 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Bargaining
  • Experiment
  • Gender
  • Gender pairing

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